The Common Food Linked To Higher IQ

The Common Food Linked To Higher IQ post image

One ubiquitous food could help
people achieve higher IQs.
Mothers who eat more nuts
during pregnancy have children with higher IQs, new research finds.
Eating around three 30g
servings per week of all types of nuts was linked to higher cognitive function
in children.
The scientists believe that
nuts provide essential fatty acids that are crucial to brain development.
The fatty acids, such as
omega-3 and omega-6, accumulate in the brain of the growing fetus.
The link was only found for mothers
who ate the nuts in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The study included 2,208
mothers and children who were followed from pregnancy.
Mothers were asked about their
eating habits and the children were given standard tests of cognitive function.
The results showed that
mothers who ate more nuts had children with better cognitive skills, such as
memory and attention.
However, even those who ate
high levels of nuts were still below recommended amounts, suggesting the
benefits are potentially even higher.
Ms Florence Gignac the study’s
first author, said:
“The nuts we took into account
in this study were walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts and hazelnuts. 
We think that the beneficial
effects observed might be due to the fact that the nuts provided high levels of
folic acid and, in particular, essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. 
These components tend to
accumulate in neural tissue, particularly in the frontal areas of the brain,
which influence memory and executive functions.”
The study is the first to find
a link between consuming nuts in pregnancy and cognitive development in the
However, it is not yet clear
why the link only exists in the first trimester.
Dr Jordi Júlvez, study
co-author, said:
“This is not the first time we
have observed more marked effects when an exposure occurs at a specific stage
of the pregnancy. 
While our study does not
explain the causes of the difference between the first and third trimesters,
the scientific literature speculates that the rhythm of fetal development
varies throughout the pregnancy and that there are periods when development is
particularly sensitive to maternal diet.”
About the author

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD
is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from
University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about
scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book
“Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
The study was published in the
European Journal of Epidemiology (Gignac et al., 2019).


Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.